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Archive for Friday, June 9, 2006

Lawrence Open to kick off

June 9, 2006

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The Lawrence Tennis Association will play host to the Lawrence Adult Open today through Sunday. The three-day event will take place at the Lawrence Tennis Center, 800 W. 21st St.

Matches will start tonight at 6 p.m. Bud Pettit, tournament director, said the tournament would contain 52 participants. For the past three years, the tournament attracted 70 participants. Pettit said the lower turnout might have been due to the availability of other tennis leagues in town or June being a high vacation month.

The winner of the men's open division will receive $200, Pettit said. Andrew Marchetti, a tennis teaching professional at Blue Hills Country Club in Kansas City, Mo., won the men's open division last year. Marchetti will not participate this weekend. Pettit said the front-runners for this weekend's tournament will be No. 1-seeded Jim Stoner or No. 2-seeded Chris Irick in the men's open division.

Last year, rainy weather caused matches to be rushed during the weekend. Pettit said he implemented a no-add scoring rule to speed up the pace of matches last year. In this format, players only had to win games by one point after the sixth point. In a normal tennis setting, players must win games by two points.

Pettit said he hoped for sunny skies this weekend, but had a backup plan in the event of rain.

"First Serve has been pretty cooperative," Pettit said, of the facility located on 5200 Clinton Parkway. "We have sort of a standby agreement that we can run a few matches indoors."

Stuart Waters, director of tennis at First Serve, said he would try to make the facility available for the tournament in the event of rain.

Pettit said the Lawrence Tennis Association has held the tournament for more than 20 years. The tournament has always taken place in the second week of June, Pettit said.

Matches on Saturday will begin at 8 a.m. and take place all day. The finals matches Sunday will begin around 10 a.m.

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